The online estate agent Hatched has today closed its doors for good after failing to establish itself as one of the leaders of the market.
Having been in operation since 2006, Hatched was one of the longest-running online or ‘hybrid’ estate agents around.
A statement from the company claimed:
“Online estate agency Hatched will be closing to all new business with immediate effect, Connells Group announces today. The decision underlines Connells Group’s belief that the ‘online-only’/hybrid business model is fundamentally flawed and affirms the Group’s absolute commitment to its high street estate agency operation. Connells Group will seek to retain and redeploy all Hatched employees elsewhere within its business.”
A Failing Model Or Just Bad Leadership?
While the statement from Connells may point the finger of blame at the online model in general, our own Hatched review found the blame may lie closer to home.
We uncovered several failings in the service being offered at the time of our review. These included customers being forced into using recommended surveyors, a very pushy customer support team, and a lack of advertising for the fact they did offer a ‘no sale, no fee’ price.
How much these contributed to the brands’ downfall is debatable, however, it’s clear that the firm was some way from ‘cracking’ how to approach the online market.
Despite having reasonably good reviews on the whole, Hatched couldn’t quite match the marketing spend or reputation that the bigger brands have been building.
At the time of closure, the online agent had 586 properties listed for sale on property portal, Zoopla.
At the time of writing, the Hatched website is still available but is now only allowing visitors to view properties already listed for sale and existing customers to login. New customers can no longer join.